Ruby Red – Kerstin Gier

Ruby Red – Kerstin Gier

“The first pair Opal and Amber are,
Agate sings in B flat, the wolf avatar,
A duet-solutio! – with Aquamarine.
Mighty Emerald next, with the lovely Citrine.
Number Eight is digestio, her stand is Jade fine.
E major’s the key of the Black Tourmaline,
Sapphire sings in F major, and bright is her sheen.
Then almost at once comes Diamond alone,
Whose sign of the lion as Leo is known.
Projectio! Time flows on, both present and past.
Ruby red is the first and is also the last.”

I seriously forgot how enjoyable this series is! I noticed that my library had the entire series on OverDrive and decided that I was overdue for a reread (and then spend the whole weekend on the first two).

This is a prime example of a time travel series done well. Being a huge fan of Doctor Who and other movies/books/shows with time travel in them, I have a pretty good idea of what I think makes sense and what doesn’t. Even though our main character, Gwen, is left in the dark about a lot of the aspects of this particular brand of time travel in the first two books, I never felt like there were actual holes to the plot or mysteries that wouldn’t eventually be explained. I was also a fan of the way that it was stressed that because no one knew that she could have the time traveling gene, that she was thoroughly unprepared to go back in time (for knowing the customs and language and all that jazz) and that she herself recognized it and tried her best to be careful. I loved Passenger by Alexandra Bracken but it made me very angry that the main character thought she could just act as she pleased when she went back in time and that it wouldn’t have consequences. That just doesn’t make sense. As much as I personally would have hated acting docile and let men talk about how silly and inconsequential women are in front of me, I wouldn’t have argued because I’m not an idiot and would know that they would immediately become suspicious.

I also was a fan of the cast of characters in general. I mean I didn’t actually *like* all of them—Charlotte and her mom and Dr. White, and many others were such jerks to Gwen most of the time about how unprepared and basically useless she was BUT that doesn’t mean I didn’t get why they acted as they did or thought it was unrealistic. In fact, I thought it made Gwen that much better of a character because other than getting upset with Gideon for being a jerk at times, she kept her temper through most of the heckling (whereas I don’t think I could have). I also loved that she had a best friend that she told all her family secrets too as well. Sometimes in books like this the MC has to hide all of that from their closest friend(s) and it always seems to create a big rift and goes badly eventually. That is not the case with Lesley here! Nope, the girl believes all of it and even helps Gwen do research so she can be better prepared. That’s a pretty good friend if you ask me.

Overall I thought the plot was super interesting and it’s been a long enough time since I first read them all that I had forgotten quite a few things. That definitely made the little surprises enjoyable all over again. And although there wasn’t much actual action in this one quite yet, it definitely builds up in the next two books and more answers to some of the secrets in this one are revealed! Definitely would recommend to anyone who is interested in time travel books!

“Ready when you are.” 

Ruby Red Book Cover Ruby Red
Precious Stone Trilogy, #1
Kerstin Gier
YA, Fantasy
Henry Holt
May 10th, 2011

Gwyneth Shepherd's sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era!

Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon--the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.

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